Originally: The Necessity of a Meaningful Policy
Continued Kidnappings in Haiti:
The Necessity of a Meaningful Policy
to Crackdown on the Perpetrators of Violence
Two American missionaries have been kidnapped and released in Haiti. Four individuals allegedly are responsible for this barbaric action:
1. Evens — living in a marginal area of Port-au-Prince called Boston
2. Amarale — living in Belecourt
3. Ti Blanc — living in an area called Simon in Cité Soleil
4. Genral Toutou — who allegedly killed Jacques Roche, also living in the area called Boston
Throughout Haitian history political and criminal violence has been state business. From Soulouque?s Zenglen to Aristide?s Chimères, political power has created, financed, and armed various groups to foster an environment of fear and intimidation killing political opponents. While there are other armed groups involved, the current violence in Haiti is mostly to be blamed on Aristide?s Haiti terror network. More importantly this group appears to be spreading its wings and expanding its violent tactics into North America.
Since Préval?s return to power, these groups have been emboldened enough to build more than 60 new cells. Meanwhile, the new president?s policy toward these groups is not clear. Should they be treated like Hamas and Hezbollah or the Islamic warlords in Somalia and be allowed to integrate the political process ? and thus legitimized? Or should they be prosecuted by the law and brought to justice?
In order to avoid the strengthening of these extremist groups, President Préval and Prime Minister Alexis must draw the line. The international community, MINUSTAH, has an ambivalent take on this issue giving the perception that the low intensity violence is acceptable. In order to restore security and confidence for investment the government ? and the international community ? must define a clear policy toward these groups. The most recent polls show that the vast majority of Haitian citizens supports an aggressive policy toward these terror groups. Haitians are ready for change. They are ready to build an economy and work to elevate their status from the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Without a meaningful policy to address these groups, investment will not come and progress will again be eluded.
The Washington Democracy Project is currently conducting an in-depth analysis of the situation. We will release a comprehensive report in November detailing this phenomenon in Haiti, including its links to drug trafficking, the plot of the Haitian ?homegrown terrorists? in Miami, its impact on the US anti-terrorism agenda, and democracy and stability in Haiti.
Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
Washington Democracy Project